Opel Labor Unions Accept the 2016 Closure of the Bochum Plant image

Opel’s labor unions decided to agree with the automaker’s decision to close the Bochum plant.

According to GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, labor unions have to sign by the end of February the deal to restructure Opel’s Bochum plant in Germany. Works council chief Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug announced that the struggling Bochum plant was given a two-year grace period and so, it will not be closed before 2016, also keeping the 3,300 employees currently working there.

Schäfer-Klug added that once the plant will be closed, employees will be offered a two-year, fully financed retraining program. Today’s deal is the results of months of tough negotiations between the labor representatives and management.

Talks between Opel’s management and workers regarding the Bochum plant have begun in June 2012, with the decision that the plant will be closed in 2016. GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky said that although there are proposals to manufacture the next generation Mokka subcompact here, the automaker’s management will not budge from its plans to shut the plant and lay off more than 3,000 workers.

“The situation in the entire European (car) market is still catastrophic,” said Girsky. “That’s a difficult precondition for forthcoming negotiations” with German staff.